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The Whistler
Cover of The Whistler
The Whistler
From John Grisham, America's #1 bestselling author, comes the most electrifying novel of the year, a high-stakes thrill ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State.

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.
But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It's rare, but it happens.
Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.
But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.
What's the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month's cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It's a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.
But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.
Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.
From the Hardcover edition.
From John Grisham, America's #1 bestselling author, comes the most electrifying novel of the year, a high-stakes thrill ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State.

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.
But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It's rare, but it happens.
Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.
But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.
What's the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month's cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It's a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.
But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.
Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    1

    The satellite radio was playing soft jazz, a compromise. Lacy, the owner of the Prius and thus the radio, loathed rap almost as much as Hugo, her passenger, loathed contemporary country. They had failed to agree on sports talk, public radio, golden oldies, adult comedy, and the BBC, without getting near bluegrass, CNN, opera, or a hundred other stations. Out of frustration on her part and fatigue on his, they both threw in the towel early and settled on soft jazz. Soft, so Hugo's deep and lengthy nap would not be disturbed. Soft, because Lacy didn't care much for jazz either. It was another give-and-take of sorts, one of many that had sustained their teamwork over the years. He slept and she drove and both were content.

    Before the Great Recession, the Board on Judicial Conduct had access to a small pool of state-owned Hondas, all with four doors and white paint and low mileage. With budget cuts, though, those disappeared. Lacy, Hugo, and countless other public employees in Florida were now expected to use their own vehicles for the state's work, reimbursed at fifty cents a mile. Hugo, with four kids and a hefty mortgage, drove an ancient Bronco that could barely make it to the office, let alone a road trip. And so he slept.

    Lacy enjoyed the quiet. She handled most of her cases alone, as did her colleagues. Deeper cuts had decimated the office, and the BJC was down to its last six investigators. Seven, in a state of twenty million people, with a thousand judges sitting in six hundred courtrooms and processing a half a million cases a year. Lacy was forever grateful that almost all judges were honest, hardworking people committed to justice and equality. Otherwise, she would have left long ago. The small number of bad apples kept her busy fifty hours a week.

    She gently touched the signal switch and slowed on the exit ramp. When the car rolled to a stop, Hugo lurched forward as if wide awake and ready for the day. "Where are we?" he asked.

    "Almost there. Twenty minutes. Time for you to roll to your right and snore at the window."

    "Sorry. Was I snoring?"

    "You always snore, at least according to your wife."

    "Well, in my defense, I was walking the floor at three this morning with her latest child. I think it's a girl. What's her name?"

    "Wife or daughter?"

    "Ha‑ha."

    The lovely and ever-pregnant Verna kept few secrets when it came to her husband. It was her calling to keep his ego in check and it was no small task. In another life, Hugo had been a football star in high school, then the top-rated signee in his class at Florida State, and the first freshman to crack the starting lineup. He'd been a tailback, both bruising and dazzling, for three and a half games anyway, until they carried him off on a stretcher with a jammed vertebra in his upper spine. He vowed to make a comeback. His mother said no. He graduated with honors and went to law school. His glory days were fading fast, but he would always carry some of the swagger possessed by all-Americans. He couldn't help it.

    "Twenty minutes, huh?" he grunted.

    "Sure, or not. If you like, I'll just leave you in the car with the motor running and you can sleep all day."

    He rolled to his right, closed his eyes, and said, "I want a new partner."

    "That's an idea, but the problem is nobody else will have you."

    "And one with a bigger car."

    "It gets fifty miles a gallon."

    He grunted again, grew still, then twitched, jerked, mumbled, and sat straight up. He rubbed his eyes and said, "What are we listening to?"

    "We had this conversation a long time ago, when we left Tallahassee, just as you were beginning to...

About the Author-
  • John Grisham is the author of twenty-nine novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and five novels for young readers.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 12, 2016
    Lawyer Lacy Stolz, the heroine of this tense legal thriller from bestseller Grisham (Rogue Lawyer), investigates complaints against judges for the Florida Board on Judicial Misconduct. In her nine years on the job, there has never been any danger in her assignments; the justices are often more incompetent than corrupt. Everything changes when Stolz and a colleague, Hugo Hatch, meet with a disbarred lawyer, who—eager to collect a whistleblower's reward—has evidence of corruption unlike anything they have ever handled. A judge in the pocket of the Coast Mafia has spent years skimming millions from a Native American–owned casino. At least three people have been murdered to cover up the graft, and an innocent man sits on death row, but few are willing to help Stolz and Hatch expose the corruption. The casino keeps the money flowing, and stepping forward could be deadly. A lead brings Stolz and Hatch onto tribal land, where they find themselves caught in a trap. A high-stakes game of gambling, greed, and murder plays out in another page-turner from a master storyteller.

  • AudioFile Magazine The venerable author is at it again in this legal thriller about two good guys who hold the key to a corruption ring that involves a high-ranking state employee and a Native American-owned casino. Narrator Cassandra Campbell keeps up a good pace and varies her tone as she portrays the myriad characters. Without using accents she ensures that listeners can keep the cast straight as the pair of investigators find themselves with targets on their backs. Campbell capably handles the plot twists--and there are a few--that pop up along the way. It's worth listening to find out how the case works out, though Grisham's ending seems a bit rushed. M.B. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
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John Grisham
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